Design optimization of a large scale rooftop photovoltaic system

Xiangyang Gong, Manohar Kulkarni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


This paper presents the optimization process of a grid connected photovoltaic (PV) system, which is intended to replace a large-scale thermal solar system on the rooftop of a Federal office building. A PV energy conversion model is described. Based on this model, array surface tilt angle and array size are optimized. The optimization method is based on maximizing the utilization of the array output energy, and, at the same time, minimizing the electricity power sold to grid. An effectiveness factor is introduced that takes into account both of these parameters. The array configuration and the output parameters are determined by comparing several PV modules. A 43.2 kW PV system is designed and operational problems such as harmonic effects and anti-islanding are discussed. Finally, the system performance is simulated and through economic analysis it has shown that the cost of PV system can be recouped in 13 years under the current renewable energy incentive program by the state of Illinois.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-374
Number of pages13
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005


  • Array
  • Effectiveness factor
  • Harmonic effect
  • Islanding
  • Optimization
  • Performance
  • Photovoltaic system
  • Solar radiation
  • Tilt angle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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